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Convention Speeches

George McGovern, 1972 Series/Special. (2012) George McGovern's acceptance speech in 1972. New.




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America 10, Us 10, Vietnam 2, Jimmy Carter 2, Nixon 1, Carter 1, John F. Kennedy 1, Wilson 1, United States 1, United Democratic Party 1, Woodrow Wilson 1, Miami 1, Washington 1, Georgia 1, Us Home 1, Europe 1, China 1, Heaven 1, Israel 1,
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  CSPAN    Convention Speeches    George McGovern, 1972  Series/Special.  (2012)  
   George McGovern's acceptance speech in 1972. New.  

    September 1, 2012
    9:50 - 10:10pm EDT  

this campaign, but quite frankly i welcome the contrast with the smug and dull and empty events which will doubtless take place here in miami next month. [cheers and applause] we chose this struggle. we reformed our party, and we let the people in. [cheers and applause] so we stand today not as a collection of back room strategists, not as a tool of i.t.t. or any other special interest. [cheers and applause] so let our opponents stand on the status quo while we seek to refresh the american spirit. [cheers and applause] let the opposition collect their $10 million in secret money from the privileged few and let us find one million ordinary americans who will contribute
$25 each to this campaign, a million member club, with members who will not stect -- expect special favors for themselves, but a better land for us all. [cheers and applause] in the music of our children we are told to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. and for america, the time has come at last. this is the time for truth, not falsehood. in a democratic nation no one likes to say that his inspiration came from secret arrangements behind closed doors. but in a sense, that is how my
candidacy began. i am here as your candidate tonight in large part because during four administrations of both parties a terrible war has been charted behind closed doors. [cheers and applause] i want those doors open, and i want that war closed. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] and i make these pledges above all others -- the doors of government will be open, and that war will be closed!
[cheers and applause] a habit of integrity, not a strategy of politics. if we nurture the habit of truth in this campaign, we will continue to be truthful once we are in the white house. [cheers and applause] let us say to americans as woodrow wilson said in his campaign of 1912, "let me inside the government, and i will tell you what is going on there." [cheers and applause] wilson believed and i believe that the destiny of america is always safer in the hands of the people than in the conference rooms of any elites. so let us give our country the chance to elect a government that will see and speak the
truth for this is a time for the truth in the life of this country. and this is also a time not for death but for life. in 1968, many americans thought they were voting to bring our sons home from vietnam in peace. and since then, 20,000 of our sons have come home in coffins. i have no secret plan for peace. i have a public plan. and as one whose heart has ached for the past 10 years over the agony in vietnam i will halt the senseless bombing of indo china on inaugural day. [applause]
[cheers and applause] there will be no more asian children running ablaze from bombed out schools. there will be no more talk of bombing the cities of the north. and within 90 days of my presidency, every american soldier will be out of the jungle and out of their cell and back home in america where they belong. [cheers and applause]
and then let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad. [cheers and applause] this is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to the rebuilding of our own nation. america must be restored to her proper role in the world. but we can do that only through the recovery of confidence in ourselves. [applause] i believe that the greatest contribution america can now make to our fellow mortals is to heal our own great but deeply
troubled land. we must respond to that ancient command "physician, heal thyself." now, it is necessary in an age of nuclear power and hostile forces that we be mill tearly -- militarily strong. america must never become the -- a second rate nation. as someone who has tasted the bitter fruit before pearl harbor 1941, i give you my pledge that if i become the president of the united states, america will keep its defenses alert and fully sufficient to meet any danger. [cheers and applause] we will do that not only for ourselves but for those who deserve and need the shield of
our strength. our old allies in europe and elsewhere, including the people of israel who will always have our help to hold their promise land. [cheers and applause] and let i believe that every man and woman in this convention hall knows that for 30 years we have been so absorbed with fear and danger from abroad that we have permitted our own house to fall into disarray. we must now show that peace and prosperity can exist side-by-side. indeed, each now depends on the existence of the other. national strength includes the credibility of our system in the eyes of our own people as well as the credibility of our deterrents in the eyes of others abroad. [cheers and applause]
national security includes schools for our children as well as silos for our missiles. it includes the health of our children. so while protecting ourselves abroad, let us form a more perfect union here at home, and this is the time for that task. [applause] and we must also make this a time of justice and jobs for all our people. for more than 3 1/2 years, we have tolerated stagnation and a rising level of joblessness with more than five million of our best workers unemployed at this very moment. surely this is the most wakeful moment of them all. we need new housing and
hospitals and facilities to combat pollution, for better products able to compete on vigorous world markets. the highest single domestic priority of the next administration will be to ensure that every american able to work has a job to do. [cheers and applause] .
of our people working and paying taxes to support too many others mired in a demeaning and hopeless welfare mess. therefore, we intend to begin by putting millions back to work and after that is done, we will assure to those unable to work an income fully adequate to a decent life. now beyond this, a program to put america back to work demands that work be properly rewarded. that means the end of a system of economic controls in which labor is depressed, but prices and corporate profit run sky- high. it means a system of national
health insurance so that a worker can afford decent health care for himself and his family. it means real enforcement of the laws so that the drug racketeers are put behind bars and our streets are once again safe for our families. and above all, above all, honest work must be rewarded by a fair and just tax system. [applause] the tax system today does not reward hard work: it's penalizes it. inherited or invested wealth frequently multiplies itself while paying no taxes at all. but wages on the assembly line or in farming the land, these hard earned dollars are taxed to the very last penny. there is a depletion allowance
for oil wells, but no depletion the administration tells us that we should not discuss tax reform -- this land was made for you and me. [applause] so, let us close on this note. it may god grant each of us the wisdom to cherish this great
land and to meet the grade challenge that beckons us home. and now is the time to meet that challenge. good night and god speed to you all. [applause] >> in 1976, the democrats nominated former georgia gov. jimmy carter for president. this was the first campaign since the watergate scandal and the resignation of president nixon. governor carter was relatively unknown, but many voters chose them because of his status as a washington outsider. his speech was about 40 minutes. [applause]
my name is jimmy carter, and i'm running for president. [applause] it's been a long time since i said those words the first time, and now i've come here after seeing our great country to accept your nomination. [applause] i accept it, in the words of john f. kennedy, with a full and grateful heart and with only one obligation: to devote every effort of body, mind and spirit
to lead our party back to victory and our nation back to greatness. [applause] it's a pleasure to be here with all you democrats and to see that our bicentennial celebration and our bicentennial convention has been one of decorum and order without any fights or free-for-alls. among democrats that can only happen once every two hundred years. [applause] with this kind of a united
democratic party, we are ready, and eager, to take on the republicans, whichever republican party they decide to send against us in november. [applause] 1976 will not be a year of politics as usual. it can be a year of inspiration and hope, and it will be a year of concern, of quiet and sober reassessment of our nation's character and purpose. it has already been a year when voters have confounded the experts. and i guarantee you that it will be the year when we give the government of this country back to the people of this country.
[applause] there is a new mood in america. we have been shaken by a tragic war abroad and by scandals and broken promises at home. our people are searching for new voices and new ideas and new leaders. although government has its limits and cannot solve all our problems, we americans reject the view that we must be reconciled to failures and mediocrity, or to an inferior quality of life. for i believe that we can come through this time of trouble stronger than ever. like troops who have been in combat, we have been tempered in the fire; we have been disciplined, and we have been
educated. guided by lasting and simple moral values, we have emerged idealists without illusions, realists who still know the old dreams of justice and liberty, of country and of community. this year we have had thirty state primaries -- more than ever before -- making it possible to take our campaign directly to the people of america: to homes and shopping centers, to factory shift lines and colleges, to beauty parlors and barbershops, to farmers' markets and union halls. this has been a long and personal campaign -- a humbling experience, reminding us that ultimate political influence ultimate political influence rests not with the power